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Health Issues

Lazy Eye (Amblyopia)

​​​Amblyopia, or lazy eye, is a fairly common eye problem (affecting about 2 out of 100 children). It develops when a child has one eye that doesn't see well or is injured, and they begin to use the other eye almost exclusively. In general, amblyopia must be detected as early as possible in order to treat and restore normal vision in the affected eye. If the problem persists for too long (past 7 to 10 years of age), vision is often lost permanently in the unused eye.

How is amblyopia treated?

There are a couple ways amblyopia may be treated, including:

Eye patching therapy

Once an ophthalmologist diagnoses the problems in the weaker eye, your child may need to wear a patch over the "good" eye for periods of time. This forces them to use and strengthen the eye that has become "lazy."

Patching therapy will be continued for as long as necessary to bring the weaker eye up to its full potential and keep it there. This could take weeks, months or even a few years.

Eye drops or ointment

As an alternative to an eye patch, the ophthalmologist might prescribe eye drops or ointment to blur the vision in the good eye. This can stimulate your child to use the amblyopic eye.

More information

Last Updated
Adapted from Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age Five 7th edition (Copyright © 2019 American Academy of Pediatrics)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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